Art on a Postcard International Women’s Day Auction 2022

Bidding open 24 Feb – 15 March 2022

I’m delighted to take part in this year’s Art on a Postcard International Women’s Day Auction 2022.

Art on a Postcard was launched in 2014, and was then intended to be a one off secret postcard auction. However, the first edition was such a success that they have since gone on to hold further auctions each year to raise more funds for  The Hepatitis C Trust.

Artists and photographers who have taken part in Art on a Postcard auctions include Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry CBE, RA, Marina Abramoviç, Harland Miller, Martin Parr, Es Devlin, Jeremy Deller, Peter Blake, Gilbert and George, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Patrick Hughes, Wolfgang Tillmans, Marc Quinn and Cecily Brown.

100% of the money raised in Art on a Postcard auctions goes to The Hepatitis C Trust’s campaign to eliminate hepatitis C in the UK by the year 2030.

I’m so excited to join this year’s Art on a Postcard International Women’s Day Auction with a stellar line up of highly collectable female identifying artists ranging from emerging new graduates to world-renowned artists.

The 2022 participants include Charmaine Watkiss, whose work is concerned with what she calls ‘memory stories’. She creates stories primarily through research connected to the African Caribbean diaspora, and then maps the stories onto life sized figures.

New York based artist Philemona Williamson joins the line-up, her work explores the tenuous bridge between adolescence and adulthood, along with Brooklyn based Louise Lawler aiming to raise questions about the production, circulation, and presentation of art through her creations.

They will be shown alongside pieces from Sarah Ortmeyer, Allison Katz, Lara Schnitger, Penny Goring, Florence Peake and Emma Cousin for this edition.

Emerging voices will also feature offering the opportunity to spot fresh talents, such as New Contemporary 2021 Shannon Bono who is invested in producing layered, figurative, compositions that centralise black womanhood as a source of knowledge and understanding.

Also, Amanda Ba who has achieved quick success with her erotic red female figures, and depictions of animals exploring interspecies relations, queerness and cultural identity.

Original creations will also be available by Bunmi Agusto, Mandy Franca and Victoria Cantons among others.

As well these exciting additions, Art on a Postcard this year welcomes back expressionistic American artist Katherine Bernhardt and Royal Academicians Vanessa Jackson, Mali Morris and (my hero and mentor) Anne Desmet.

The Art on a Postcard women’s auctions focus on the work The Hepatitis C Trust does in women’s prisons. In 2022 The Trust will be expanding their women’s hepatitis C work beyond the prison walls into probation services and women’s centres, the money from this auction will help achieve this goal. It is  The Hepatitis C Trust‘s belief that many of the women incarcerated in the UK are there because of addiction and mental health problems and need help, not locking up.

Our prison work gives us the unique opportunity to engage hard to reach women. When these women take control of their health, often when they’ve not been in control of anything, there is a considerable knock-on effect. Accessing treatment changes their lives and can be the catalyst to getting clean and sober and into more manageable ways of life. Art on a Postcard shows these women that they are valued and cared about.

Julia Sheehan – National Female Prisons Coordinator

Bidding is now open online, hosted by Dreweatts, with each lot starting at £50



LOOP2021 – Artists in print

LOOP 2021 will be held at Espacio Gallery in November 2021!

Espacio Gallery
159 Bethnal Green Road
London E2 7D

Tue 2 November to Sun 7 November 2021
Open times Daily 1.00 pm to 7.00 pm
Private View and Meet the Artists: Tuesday 2 November 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm
Closing Party Sunday 7 November 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm
(Please note the gallery is closed on Mondays)

LOOP is a collective of nationally and internationally exhibiting artists who come together with the aim of presenting some of the best in new printmaking through yearly exhibitions. The exhibitions have been running with considerable success since 2005.

LOOP is about creative freedom, encouraging participating artists to show their individual approach in their choice of technique, from the oldest print technologies through to the most recent digital developments, presenting work in both 2D and 3D that demonstrates great diversity in imagery and practice. The work shown each year is new work, which brings a freshness and adds a progressive dynamic to the exhibition.

LOOP2021 will show work by printmakers with a wealth of experience. The core LOOP artists have MAs, mostly from Camberwell College of Art, UAL (and as usual this year we are including some more recent graduates in the mix). Amongst the group are artists who have been involved in founding print workshops, and in arranging and curating exhibitions and festivals.

Here comes the sun (little darlings) linocut by Sharon Low 2021
Image: Here comes the sun (little darlings) – linocut by Sharon Low 2021, exhibiting in LOOP2021

I am proud to be a member of this group of artists in this 16th anniversary show. Please note that the exhibition will proceed despite difficult conditions imposed by COVID-19. We have safety guidelines in place during the exhibition, which we kindly ask all visitors to observe.

Open times Daily 1.00 pm to 7.00 pm
Private View and Meet the Artists: Tuesday 2 November 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm
Closing Party Sunday 7 November 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm
(Please note the gallery is closed on Mondays)

Please click here to download an invitation to LOOP2021.

For further information please see:
Instagram: LOOP_artists
Twitter: LOOP_Artists
Facebook: Loopartistscoop

Reflections on William Kentridge



Another noted artist that I only discovered in the last few years, but whose art and ideas have greatly influenced me, is the South African artist William Kentridge.

Renowned for his animated expressionist drawings and films exploring time, the history of colonialism and the aspirations and failures of revolutionary politics, South African artist William Kentridge (b.1955, Johannesburg) featured in two major London exhibitions in the last two years that I was fortunate enough to see in the last couple of years.

The Whitechapel Gallery exhibition showcased six large-scale installations by the artist, where music and drama are ruptured by revolution, exile and scientific advancement.


Highlights included the film work Second-hand Reading (2013), installation O Sentimental Machine (2015) and The Refusal of Time (2012), an immersive work created with composer Philip Miller, projection designer Catherine Meyburgh, choreographer Dada Masilo, scientist Peter Galison and collaborators from around the world.

Marian Goodman presented two multiscreen film installations: More Sweetly Play the Dance, and Notes Toward a Model Opera.



More Sweetly Play the Dance is an eight-screen danse macabre, reminding one of the medieval tradition which summons diverse vestiges of humanity in a paradox of revelry and mourning. Kentridge presents us with part carnival, protest, and exodus: a 45 metre caravan traversing in a sphere around us with figures in procession, a form the artist invoked in his 1999 Shadow Procession.


About the processional form, Kentridge says:

“In some ways we first come across it in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. In a prelude to talking about the responsibility of the philosopher king, he describes people walking behind a screen carrying wooden and stone objects in their hands, their shadows thrown onto the wall opposite the prisoners shackled in the cave watching the shadows.”

Kentridge manages to combine traditional media with new media in work that references much of the culture and history of humankind’s interactions with each other – my work does not of course encompass such a vast range of subjects and media, however, I have found him inspiring for what is possible.

As with Mona Hatoum, Do Ho Suh and Tatsuo Miyajima, other artists who have greatly influenced me over these last two years, I dream about the kind of work I might make that goes beyond my previous boundaries of tradition painting and printmaking, of relatively small-scale, framed works, to the ideas of truly multi-media, multi-sensory pieces and installations drawing from a myriad of sources, cultures, languages and peoples.



Links and references



Tatsuo Miyajima from 9 to 1 and zero in the cycle of life and death

In my post about the London-based Korean artist, Do Ho Suh, I talked about the importance of the notion of karma to his work. Karma is also central to the work of the Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima.


Miyajima’s three core concepts are:


  • keep changing
  • connect with everything
  • continue forever

These three symbolise human life and are the basis for his art.

Key to Miyajima’s practice are the numbers nine to one and zero, he says:

“Basically the count goes down from nine to one, then repeats: from 9-8-7, these numbers shine this represents life. The count continues, and as it does this symbolises change.


Then we reach zero In Sanskrit zero was call “sunya”, in Buddhism, in Japanese, this becomes kuu, “the void”.

It is said this idea originated in India in the sixth century but the original meaning  was not only emptiness or nothingness but also  swollenness an explosion.

In other words, ‘zero’ incorporates two diametrically opposed meanings: it indicates that this void is invisible, yet packed with energy.




So when someone dies, it’s like going to sleep: you can’t see anything, but there’s plenty of power there, and if you rest for a while, life reverts as though you were waking up the next morning.


Tatsuo Miyajima: Counter Voice in Wine

This repeating cycle of life and death can be taken as the boundary of what is visible: invisible then visible, the pattern of life and death repeating. For Miyajima, that’s what it’s all about, that’s what life is.”

Miyajima doesn’t include zero in his work because it would signify death. So instead of a zero, it goes black:

“The gap between counting cycles represents a pause or breath, the ‘space of death’ before life begins once more.”

I personally found this exhibition inspiring both for the sheer scale and technical knowledge that must have been behind its staging, but even more because of the conceptual ideas behind Miyajima’s work.

This idea of the cycle of life and death, of karma, being represented by the simple idea of counting between 9 and 1 (to limit the numbers to single digits only) seems to me brilliant in its simplicity, and it can be used in so many ways. This also inspired me to think about the other textual references I could layer over my work, to represent the languages and therefore cultures that have influenced both my personal history, and that of my ancestors, but really of the history of humankind, if I can be so bold!







Space and place in the work of Do Ho Suh



Do Ho Suh: Karma sculpture


Do Ho Suh working on his Rubbing/Loving project

From work on paper and video to sculpture and immersive installation, the notion of karma is the title and subject of many works by Korean artist Do Ho Suh.

At the start of 2016, I was most fortunate to visit Singapore’s STPI on the last day of the exhibition, Do Ho Suh: New works.

This visit coincided with an important turning point in thinking about my own work, and in many ways came as a revelation to me, particularly with Do Ho Suh’s focus on the concept of karma and the notion of a global citizen with a mobile home: themes of space, place, home, karma, and the connection between the individual and the group across global cultures.


Do Ho Suh: home and karma based thread drawings


Do Ho Suh: Karma thread drawing

Born in Seoul in 1962, Do Ho Suh moved from his native South Korea, to study and live in New York and Paris, before moving to London, where he is now based.

Influenced by his peripatetic existence, an enduring theme of the artist’s practice is the connection between the individual and the group across global cultures.

His own feelings of loss of personal connected space, the sense of “home” and lack of centre, is obvious in his beautifully imagined and created sculptures and installations, as well as his many works on paper and video.

Suh’s Rubbing/Loving Project, as with much of his work, deals with the notion of home and homesickness; indeed, he explicitly asks what is this very notion of home and how can a person carry their home with them.


Do Ho Suh: Rubbing/Loving project


Do Ho Suh: Rubbing/Loving project

Do Ho Suh’s works explore the myriad of feelings associated with the immigrant experience: being dislocated, attempting to understand unfamiliar surrounding striving to create a new home.

The recent Victoria Miro exhibition, Do Ho Suh: Passages, showed some of the work Suh is perhaps most famous for: his one-to-one life-scale fabric representations of his homes.

Continuing the work of his Rubbing/Loving Project, these are at once beautiful and poignant reminders of how we all carry home or homes within us, and perhaps how we would like to carry all our homes were it possible to roll or fold them to carry with us to the next place.


Do Ho Suh


Do Ho Suh: Home

The multiplicity of individuality is tested through meditative processes of repetition: whether interlinked along a lattice of fishing nets, amassed into monumental tornado-like forms, absent from ranks of empty uniforms, or present in every yearbook photo taken at the artist’s high school over 60 years, the artist uses the reproduced human figure to explore sensitively, and with spectacular formal effect, the ways in which personal space inherently extends into the collective sphere.


Do Ho Suh


Do Ho Suh: Running man

The human figure often dominates in Suh’s work: his drawings are filled with abundant references to himself and others; some are kinds of self-portraits – what he calls, “a contemplation of myself” – but he is not only looking inward at himself, but also outward: his sense of inter-connectedness with others of familial relationships in the present but also the past and future.


Do Ho Suh: Floor


Do Ho Suh: Floor detail


Do Ho Suh: Karma

Though much of Do Ho Suh’s work is autobiographical: his pieces are highly informed by his personal experiences of home and migration, and the search for anchor points; this longing for home is the core of any person’s identity.

The work of Do Hu Suh raises questions that pertain to each of us in the universal human experience.

I await the Whitechapel’s July 2017 Art Night, which features Do Ho Suh, with great anticipation.



Do Ho Suh: Karma juggler

Further reading



Mona Hatoum’s “Measures of Distance” is a reflection of our global life


Mona Hatoum

The 2016 exhibition at London’s Tate Modern of the work of Mona Hatoum surprised and intrigued me. I knew little of her work before I saw this show, yet was sure it would be interesting and thought-provoking, as her life and ideas are of interest to me in my own work.

The artist’s biography is marked by exile: Hatoum is a British artist, born in 1952 into a Palestinian family exiled in Lebanon. For over three decades she has been creating works which ask us to re-consider how we see and understand the world, and its “notions of territory, fragility, humanity, scale and power” (Smith, 2016).


Mona Hatoum: Homebound 2000


Mona Hatoum: Hot Spot 2013

To say that Hatoum’s work is “electrifying” is perhaps a bit corny, given the literally electric component of much of her work, but I think it is completely apt. Indeed the electric current ran through Mona Hatoum’s whole show at Tate Modern. Ever present, like a now distant, now nearer threat, the crackle and droning hum could be heard almost everywhere, emitted from Homebound: furniture and objects arranged behind a barrier of taut steel wire.

Produced in 2000, this domestic arrangement of tables and chairs, kitchen utensils, lights, cots, toys, a birdcage, are all wired-up so that an audible current surges round the room, with objects lit up in turn, “the aggressive sound amplified for our pleasure and disquiet. With Hatoum, the two are almost always twinned.” (Searle, 2016)


Mona Hatoum: Grater Divide 2002

Homebound is just one of several “anxious interiors” in an exhibition that shows Hatoum’s oeuvre. Her 2013 piece Hot Spot presents the entire globe as a danger zone, with the term ‘hot spot’ referring to a place of “military or civil unrest”; here red neon outlines the contours of the world’s continents, showing what Hatoum describes as a “world continually caught up in conflict and unrest”(Smith, 2016).

Much of her work is darkly disturbing when you may think it will be at first glance. The over-sized, scaled-up domestic appliances of Grater Divide and Dormiente, using items such as graters and other kitchen utensils, useful and homely at their regular size, take on sinister characters hinting at torture implements when larger than human-scale.


Mona Hatoum: Dormiente 2008



Mona Hatoum: Dormiente (detail) 2008


A key piece for me is Mona Hatoum’s film Measures of Distance. It speaks to me of the inter-connectedness of familial relationships across space and time. In the film, the artist’s mother is shown in close-up, in the intimacy of her shower. Fragments of Arabic script from their handwritten correspondence form a visual barrier over the image; like barbed wire, the script conceals and reveals the body speaking simultaneously of literal and implied closeness and distance, simultaneously expressing the painful distance of displacement and the longings for closeness that mark the artist’s experience.


Mona Hatoum: Measures of Distance 1988 (film still)

In this work I was also trying to go against the fixed identity that is usually implied in the stereotype of Arab woman as passive, mother as non-sexual being… the work is constructed visually in such a way that every frame speaks of literal closeness and implied distance.
(Quoted in Mona Hatoum 1997, p.140).


Mona Hatoum: Measures of Distance 1988 (film still)

The film graphically highlights the difficulties of communicating across the geographical divide: Hatoum’s audio track reading of the letters in both Arabic and English shows the dual identity through language that a migrant or exile experiences and takes on board:  language both expands and limits expression, here the dual language also serves to bring audiences of both languages closer together.

Exploring themes of home and displacement from the perspective of the Palestinian exile, Mona Hatoum’s works, from the last thirty years and today, continue to be relevant in this “age of migrants, curfews, identity cards, refugees, exiles, massacres, camps and fleeing civilians” (Said, 2000).

Further reading

Gallery websites featuring the artist’s work



First year MA student’s Interim display at the Camberwell College of Arts Postgraduate Summer Show 2016

UAL_MAVA_CCA_PGshow2016As the summer heats up (well, we can hope) the graduate and post-graduate shows are happening all over the country. If you want to be amongst the first to see the most exciting new talent emerge, pop-in to see the  University of the Arts London’s (UAL) freshest graduates open up their work to the public. Visit the UAL summer shows – a series of free art, design, fashion, communication and performance exhibitions taking place across London.

Of particular personal interest are the up and coming artists and designers of tomorrow at the Camberwell College of Arts Post-graduate Summer Show, featuring work by graduating students from the MA Visual Arts courses:

Sharon Low is in the first year of the MA Visual Arts in Printmaking at the Camberwell College of Arts. MA Book Arts and MA Printmaking first year students are putting together an “interim display”, to give visitors a taster of the MA projects they are each concerned with.

The Private View is on Thursday 14 July 2016, from 6pm – 9pm.

The show is then open to the general public:

Friday 15 July – 10am – 8pm
Saturday 16 July – 11am – 5pm
Sunday 17 July – Closed
Monday 18 July – 10am – 8pm
Tuesday 19 July – 10am – 8pm
Wednesday 20 July- 10am – 8pm

Visit the UAL website for more information.




The Candyman of Artists’ books

The Magic of Paul Johnson: Movable Book Artist and Teacher

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson: book artist and children’s literacy expert

Last year I was fortunate enough to experience first-hand the art and magic of British book artist and children’s literacy expert Paul Johnson, as part of the Designer Bookbinders autumn series of lectures at the St Bride Foundation in London.

In her interesting blog about making books with children,, Cathy Miranker said:

“Johnson’s specialty is doing exceptional things with single sheets of paper, and he uses his magic in two ways, teaching book arts to school children (and training teachers to use bookmaking in their classrooms) and making many-layered pop-up paper constructions.

“His show-and-tell session was electrifying, the most inspiring talk I’ve heard. The audience applauded and applauded—they just couldn’t stop. There was a lot of hugging, too, as if people hoped to catch some spark of his.




“Paul himself is modest, low-key, soft-spoken, undemonstrative. Except that as he talked, something extraordinary began to happen: a quiet passion seemed to take possession of him and spill over into the audience, too.

“I was completely carried away by the story of how he discovered paper—he said he didn’t notice it until he was 45, and then he couldn’t help but change his life—his endless fascination with the possibilities in a single sheet of paper (“I didn’t add anything, I didn’t take anything away, but look what it turned into! I think this must be Zen.”), his work habits, his love affair with color, his belief in book arts as a compelling path to literacy for children.”



Paul Johnson has an international reputation for his pioneering work in developing literacy and visual communication skills through the book arts. He is author of over fifteen titles including A Book of One’s Own, Literacy Through the Book Arts and Pictures and Words Together (all published by Heinemann,USA.)  Recent teaching tours include Sweden, South Korea and Thailand and he regularly teaches in the USA.


Innovative educator and successful book artist, the work of Dr Johnson can be found in the collections of the Tate Gallery, London, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, the National Gallery, the Library of Congress, Washington DC, and many US universities including UCLA, Berkeley, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Yale and Harvard. His work was selected for the Stand and Deliver USA touring exhibition of pop-up editioned books, as well as the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild’s, The Art of the Book touring exhibition  for which he also received the guild’s Book Art Colophon Award. He is on the UK Craft Council’s select list of British designer-makers.




Johnson studied at Norwich School of Art and Rabindranath Tagore’s University of Santiniketan in India. When he was and art educator at the Manchester Metropolitan University in the late 1980s Paul Johnson inaugurated The Book Art Project, the main focus of which was to teach writing to children through the book form. Since then he has made books with over 200,000 children and over 25,000 teachers worldwide.

Paul Johnson says, ‘It was seeing the sculptural bindings of Phillip Smith over thirty years ago that inspired me to look beyond the book as something to read.’

pauljohnson_05In the Designer Bookbinders autumn series of lectures presentation, Paul Johnson shared his life experiences as book artist and teacher. It was simply delightful “eye candy” to see several of his unique carousel pop-up books: first in the flat-pack state, then assembled into the 3D form. An added joy was hearing how these books inform the pop-up books that children – some as young as four years of age – make in his workshops.

pauljohnson_06More information


New English Art Club Annual Open Exhibition 2016


The New English Art Club (NEAC) Annual Open Exhibition held at Mall Galleries opens to the public on Thursday 16 June and runs until Saturday 25 June 2016.

The NEAC Annual Open Exhibition is now firmly established as a fixture of the London Summer Season, exhibiting painting and drawing made from direct observation.

The exhibition includes painting, drawing and prints selected from an open submission alongside the work of member artists.

During its early years, the NEAC was well-known for its Impressionist style, and the influence of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism continues. More than a century since its inception, today the NEAC is regarded as a “well respected institution and one of the foremost exhibiting societies”, and today continues in a realistic, figurative style.

Tthe NEAC seeks work which “demonstrates excellence in both concept and draughtsmanship”, and views its place and aim as a “centre of excellence for drawing and painting”.  Current distinguished artists include Jason Bowyer PPNEAC PS RP, Melissa Scott Miller NEAC RP, Daniel Shadbolt NEAC, Diana Armfield RA NEAC Hon Rt RWS, Anthony Green NEAC LG RA Hon RBA Hon ROI and Ken Howard OBE PPNEAC RA RBA RBSA ROI RWA.

Visit the NEAC website to see the full list of exhibiting artists. All works are for sale and available to view online as well as in the gallery.

New English Art Club

References and further information:

Portrayed! 25 Years of Inspiring Women‏

The Lots Road Group, together with the International Women’s Forum UK (IWF UK) opened their annual exhibition at The Chelsea Town Hall last week with a packed Private View and a fabulous video introduction by esteemed portrait artist, Daphne Todd, a real honour for the group.

The Lots Road Group teamed up with IWF UK on its 25th Anniversary to produce a portrait exhibition of 16 of its most inspiring women – its four founders and first 12 chairs.

IWF UK is part of the International Women’s Forum (IWF), an organisation which advances leadership across careers, cultures and continents by connecting the world’s most pre-eminent women of significant and diverse achievement.

With over 5,000 women leaders across six continents and 33 nations, the IWF has unprecedented global reach to exchange ideas, learn and inspire, and promote better leadership for a changing world.

The portraits have been created by artists in the Lots Road Group – artists who all studied at The Heatherley School of Fine Art in Chelsea, one of the few art colleges that focus purely on portraiture, figurative painting and sculpture.

Together the group has captured in oils, acrylics, pastel, and print the 16 women who founded or chaired IWF UK during its first 25 years.

Susan Young, who chaired the organisation during its 25th year and championed the initiative said:

I am delighted to embark on this special collaboration with the Lots Road Group. This is a wonderful opportunity to capture the essence of our leaders on canvas and represent inspiring leadership in an innovative medium.

This is the Lots Road Group’s second major project. Last year, in the run up to Mother’s Day, the group mounted a portrait exhibition celebrating motherhood.

This year’s exhibition of IWF UK’s leaders at The Chelsea Gallery runs until Sunday 7 June 2015.

The related catalogue is available on line and on sale at the exhibition, and contains brief biographical information about each of the artists and sitters, as well as a brief account of what it was like for each artist to portray the women who provided the inspiration for these portraits.

The Lots Road Group blog contains interesting behind-the-scenes pictures and a video of the exhibition hang.

The Chelsea Gallery:
Chelsea Library
Chelsea Old Town Hall
King’s Road
London SW3 5EZ

Related links

The Lots Road Group are: